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No. 28: Jul-Aug 1983

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Ball Lightning With Bizarre Structure

An older case of ball lightning with special features has just surfaced.

"It happened in the afternoon in 1924. There came a large ball of fire -- or so it looked -- but the thing was that it had chains all the way round. It lasted about five minutes, then all the chains clashed together with a terrific bang; then we had a terrible thunderstorm which lasted quite a long time.' In a second let ter Mrs. Revell drew the ball lightning as a red globe with 16 rays, composed of links like a chain, issuing from it; the rays were rather longer than the diameter of the ball. She said, 'You asked the size. From the ground it looked about four to five yards across, which would be larger than that in the sky. The chains opened from the top to the bottom with a terrific bang."

(Rowe, Michael W.; "Unusual Ball Lightning," Journal of Meteorology, U.K., 8:125, 1983.)

Reference. Additional examples of ball lightning with internal structure are available in our Catalog: Lightning, Auroras. This volume is described here.

From Science Frontiers #28, JUL-AUG 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss